Serendipity – Family History can be Fun and Rewarding

As we research our family history I’m sure we all have stumbled upon numerous little gems which unexpectedly strike a chord with us. The latest example of this for me occurred when, once again, trying to track down and link ancestors in colonial New England. I came upon a self-published book that held promise, at least on the surface.

Title:    Walton Genealogy: A Genealogical and Biographical Record

              of the Walton Family, from the Time of the Revolution

              to the Year 1914

Author:    Maria Walton Himebaugh

Published:    1914

Length:    73 pages

I wasn’t able to establish a definitive link to my group of Waltons but there are a few clues which give me hope. However, I did manage to read and appreciate a poem Ms. Himebaugh included at the beginning of the book. She attributed the poem to “Exchange”, which I assume is a magazine or newspaper. I think this poem really sums up genealogy and genealogical research.


I’ve pointed ’em in Savage, I’ve run ’em down in Burke,
Through Hotten’s lists and others I’ve warmed unto the work.
Till now I’ve got ’em sorted, and set out row by row,
Two, four and eight, and so on, as far as they will go,
As they lie spread before me my pride is taken down.
By an undue proportion of Smith and Jones and Brown.

A fellow has no notion until he hunts about
Of what a lot of fathers it took to fit him out.
But if he keeps on hunting, it won’t be very long,
Before they lie in cover some twenty hundred strong.
Among them kings are wanting, and titles might be more,
Though Browns and Smiths and Joneses are reckoned by the score.

I have no foolish scruples about a missing link,
But forge ’em quite as deftly as Mr. Burke, I think.
My flying leaps and guesses are always to the good
And fill a break as neatly as any old link could,
But still with all my efforts my heart in secret owns,
That mainly I’m compounded on Brown and Smith and Jones.

I’ve stalked a herd of nobles and backed into a king,
So that ancestral corner is quite the proper thing,
And as for lesser lions, celebrities, or cranks,
I’ve resurrected all I own to decorate the ranks,
But they make no impression when they are reckoned with
Humiliating numbers of Brown and Jones and Smith.

My Smiths are not connected with famous of their kind.
My Browns and Jones did nothing much so far as I can find,
But I’ve a consolation when tempted, to ask why
It seems to me quite likely they were as good as I.
And how can I be doubtful about my kin and kith
If I’m a living sample of Brown and Jones and Smith?


I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!!


About larrytom2

Older guy interested in genealogy and family issues.
This entry was posted in Ancestry Information, General Comments and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Serendipity – Family History can be Fun and Rewarding

  1. Jo Henn says:

    That is great! I love it! My major Genea – hurdle is an abundance of Snyders.. Most of them named John Snyder or Philip Snyder and one point unrelated Snyders marry (both sides having recurring Johns and Philips … Argh!). And I have discovered there were innumerable Snyders in the state during the time period I’m currently looking in! Mind boggling.

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